My mom died on August 13, 2010.
Friday the 13th nga pala nun. I’m not superstitious or anything but I started seeing butterflies all the time since she passed away. My lola, whom I call ‘Nanay’, said pag daw may paru-paro—spirit daw yun ng yumao. Siguro when you miss someone, kahit sa maliit na bagay naalala mo sya—kahit anu pa yon. I miss her, my mom, so much. I still cry by myself everytime I remember how it was when she was still here. Ang hirap pala ng walang karamay. Sobrang hirap.
I remember, 4 days before she died, I was looking for a job. The first night, I got home to find out sobrang taas ng lagnat nya. I actually had a little drink with my friends, and all the while I was thinking things through. Iniisip ko pano magiging set-up kung makukuha ako sa trabaho. Suddenly, I got a text message from my sister asking me to call her doctors to ask what we should do with my mom. 2 weeks of diarrhea , and on-and-off fever since we came back from Laguna, my mom didn’t want to see any of her doctors anymore. So I went inside her room and said para lang maglambing, ‘Mommy, naman tuwing aalis ako nagkakasakit ka ng ganyan’, and then she said, ‘E kasi naman anak, bakit mo ko iniiwan’, I looked around the room and found my lola sleeping on my make-shift bed. Naaawa ako kay Nanay sobra. I asked her to go upstairs to her room, para makatulog na talaga sya ng maayos.
The next morning, my mom woke me up for my second and final interview. She said,’Nak, gumising ka na, interview palang late ka na agad!’ Kahit may sakit, si Mommy sobrang consistent pa rin; she’s still funny, maingay, and she never complained kahit sobrang nasasaktan na sya dahil sa sakit nya. So I went to Makati and during my final interview, the bitchy HR person was explaining to me the training schedules and all that, I was thinking to myself, ‘ So panu si mommy pag nag-trabaho na ‘ko?’ When I got out, after my interview, my boyfriend asked how it went. He was shocked to find out I turned the job down. I can’t leave my mom, I said. He said that was okay. He always had away of making me feel better when I’m experiencing self-doubt. We had a late lunch, got ourselves a couple of drinks so I can rant.
When I got home, I went straight to my mom’s bedroom. My mom was feverish again. Her temperature was so high, I can feel the heat emanating from her body even when I was probably more than a foot away from her. Definitely, she did not look okay at all. Sobrang putla nya. I went outside because I’m having a hard time trying not to cry and I wanted to let her sleep. Haydi, my cousin’s mother, was telling me we should get my mom to the hospital. I ignored her. I went inside my mom’s room to check on her. Again, my lola was with her, sleeping on the mattress that I slept on since ako na talaga yung nagbantay. Again, I told my grandmother to go upstairs. When she was gone, I sat beside my mom and she woke up. I did not want to hold her hand, or to hug her, or to touch her in any way. I just wanted to act like everything’s okay even if it isn’t. Suddenly, she was angry, She asked, ‘Asan si Nanay?’ I told her I asked Nanay to go upstairs already. Then she said, ‘Buti pa si Nanay di ako iniiwan. Kunwari lang naman na okay lang maghanap ka nang trabaho.’ That’s when I really felt ashamed of myself. How selfish of me to think she was okay with me leaving her. The last thing I wanted my mom to feel was to feel abandoned. So I called my grandmother and asked her to come back downstairs. I was silently freaking out as I watched my lola ever so lightly massaging my mother’s leg, and she was crying. Haydi told me again we should take my mom to the hospital. Again, I didn’t respond, and went upstairs to smoke instead.
I guess I never really prepared myself. I guess kahit kalian hindi ko rin naman natanggap ang lahat ng nangyari. I took the situation for what it is, but I never imagined myself beyond the point of her passing. Ayoko rin eh.
On August 12, 2010, we drove my mom to the hospital trying to ignore the feeling that that was the last trip my mom was ever going to make--ever. We were at the E.R. because there was no available room. Her doctor was telling me there was nothing else they could do for my mother. I knew that. Didn’t she fucking realize I’ve been hearing that from everyone all summer? I made every excuse to stay away from my mom. I did not want to cry. And she cannot see me crying because I don’t want to see her cry either. I had to go back home to get more clothes and some sleep. When I went back to the hospital, she was weaker.
I am having a hard time continuing on with my story. I’ve been trying to write about this since the day she passed and I have tons of drafts that I guess I’m just going to have to delete. It’s now November 12. Para akong sirang plaka (paulit-ulit). Ang hirap ng walang karamay. Kung meron man, lola ko na un. She never told me off for crying. Lagi nya lang sinasabi na okay lang daw yun dahil at least my mom’s not in pain anymore. I mean, I know that, call me selfish—but what about me? I’m feeling sorry for myself constantly. I think I can say, I sort of lost my sense of purpose when she died. At least kahit wala akong pera nung buhay pa siya may drive pa ako. Now, I feel lost again. I feel like I was pushed inside a room where an unwanted surprise party is waiting for me. I want this year to end so badly. And I want one day to just wake up and forget everything that’s happened this year. I want to move on, pero ang hirap pala. Minsan naiinis ako sa iba kasi hindi nila ako maintindihan. But I would never wish ‘this’ to happen to anyone. Mahirap. So Mommy, if you can just read this or ‘hear me’, I love you. And miss na miss na kita. Sana di mo ko iniwan. Yun lang.kasi feeling ko ako nalang mag-isa eh.